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NYPD officers take down a man who came at them ‘aggressively,’ sparks internal investigation

Source: Twitter

Emma Seiwell, Thomas Tracy, Larry McShane
New York Daily News

Social media video shows an NYPD sergeant with her knee on a suspect’s neck as a second cop tasered the man on a Bronx sidewalk during a fast-escalating arrest.

The man, who is free on bail on charges including felony assault of a police officer, choked the sergeant during the melee, cops said.

The trouble started at about 8:20 p.m. April 16 when Romaine Francis approached officers in “an aggressive manner” while they were in the middle of an investigation at Prospect Ave. and E. 149th St. in Mott Haven, police said.

Francis, 29, wearing a white sweatsuit and a baseball cap, went chest-to-chest with one of the officers, prompting cops to repeatedly order him to back away, said police.

He refused, and a struggle ensued.

The 35-second clip shows the brawl began with shoving and a chest bump before four police officers subdued Francis — two cops punched him before he was Tasered. The cellphone video also shows a female sergeant with her knee on Francis’ neck.

At some point during their struggle, Francis placed his hands around the female sergeant’s neck and choked her, said police. The suspect’s choke is not visible in the cellphone video, cops said.

The incident is under internal review, according to an NYPD spokesperson. It’s typical for officers to be suspended or placed on modified duty while such reviews are underway — but none of the officers involved in the incident have been shifted to other jobs as of of Friday night.

Besides assault on a police officer, the charges against Francis include strangulation, criminal obstruction of breathing, resisting arrest, obstructing government administration and harassment.

Francis, who lives in Mount Hope, was ordered held on $20,000 bond and $5,000 cash bail at his arraignment the next day in Bronx Criminal Court, records show. City records show Francis posted bail, and was released on Wednesday. He is set to return to court on June 1, records show.

In 2020 Francis did a nine month prison stint for an attempted robbery conviction. He was released on parole in June 2021, state records show.

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